Missing Australians bind families in grief

Sophie MooreAAP
The AFP is highlighting the case of missing man Peter English and seven others in its new campaign.
Camera IconThe AFP is highlighting the case of missing man Peter English and seven others in its new campaign.

Peter English had always wanted to travel around Australia.

He texted his parents a photo of the town sign for Mount Isa in Queensland on February 11, 2019.

“That’s one ticked off the bucket list,” the 37-year-old wrote.

His family haven’t heard from him since.

The father of two is one of 38,000 Australians reported missing each year with police receiving a call every 14 minutes.

And while the vast majority are found safe and sound it’s a long and lonely wait for the loved ones of about 2600 people who appear to vanish into thin air.

The Australian Federal Police have chosen to highlight Peter’s case along with seven other long-term missing people as part of a digital campaign to show the emotional toll it takes on families.

I’ll See You Later, a series of short videos, will be released to coincide with National Missing Persons Week from August 2 to 8.

Jodie McEwan, co-ordinator of the National Missing Persons Co-ordination Centre, said they hoped to draw out new leads as well as provide the community with an insight into the unresolved grief and loss suffered by missing people’s loved ones.

“The short videos illustrate these are real people, with hobbies and dreams, who continue to live in the memories of those left behind. They are more than just statistics or photos on a missing persons poster,” Ms McEwan said in a statement.

Graeme and Marlene English just want to know what happened to their son.

“If he doesn’t want to contact us that’s alright we just want to know he’s OK,” Mr English told AAP.

Peter had lost his job shortly before going missing after struggling following the break-up of his marriage.

His great loves include camping, fishing and hunting in the bush and he had keen survival skills, his parents said.

Peter’s disappearance is a burden for the whole family, especially his two children, now aged four and eight, and his younger brother, Paul.

“He’s his best mate so psychologically it’s been really hard on him not having him around,” Mr English said.

Mrs English said that after Peter vanished every knock on the door sent their hearts racing in fear it was someone delivering bad news.

“I still think he’s just going to walk through the door,” Mr English said.

Peter last made contact while travelling alone from Caboolture to Mount Isa in western Queensland.

His car, a dark grey Ford FG Falcon with a NSW registration, FPV 849, was seen a day later on February 12, in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

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